Your online business is finally off the ground. You’ve chosen the right products and created the perfect website. You’ve even made a few sales and have so far managed your time at home successfully. So what’s next?

After your business launches, you need to take certain steps to ensure it continues to grow at the right pace. Follow the guidelines below to make sure your business continues to boom for however long you keep it going.

1. Use Social Media

If you don’t have a steady stream of visitors to your website, chances are, your sales won’t increase. The best thing you can do to ensure your business succeeds is to increase traffic to your website. You can do a variety of things to increase your website’s traffic, including increasing your online presence with social media.

Social media platforms are a great way to get your product to more people. Start out with Facebook and Twitter, but expand to any social media site where your target audience likely spends time, from Pinterest to Tumblr to Instagram.

Here are some ways to maximize your social media use:

Don’t just establish profiles-post frequently. We suggest posting once a day on Facebook and three to six times a day on Twitter. Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many posts. But remind them that you’re there with interesting, timely posts about your business and products.

Research and experiment to find out what times of day your target customers are likely to be online. Should you post in the morning, or will more of them browse your pages at night, after work? Once you know when to post, you can schedule posts to trim down the time you spend on your social media campaign.

Use bold pictures that grab people’s attention when posting on certain platforms, especially Facebook. Text should both supplement your images and paint their own picture. Use vivid, active verbs and short, clear sentences.

Encourage customer engagement with your social networking page. Host a question and answer session on Twitter or Facebook. Post a Facebook status that asks your readers for feedback. What do they like about your current site? What changes would they like to see? Encourage them to post reviews. Hold contests and advertise discounts. Keep customers coming back to your page for more.

Make engaging videos for YouTube, Vine, or another video-sharing site. Short, fun, sharable videos make your business seem more personable, vibrant, and fresh.

Embed social media buttons on your site to give customers better access to your social media pages. Mak e networking as easy for your customers as possible. Similarly, make sure your website and social media pages are sharable. Encourage people to share as much as possible, then watch your traffic soar.

2. Put the Customer First

Your customers are the reason you have business in the first place. Catering to them is the surefire way to keep your business running smoothly. Try these tips to keep your customers invested in your business:

Consider your website from the customer’s point of view. Is the site as accessible as possible? Can customers easily add products to their cart? Do they have easy payment options? Make sure your site is optimized for the customer’s comfort.

Thank your customers for their business. Whether this means writing a grateful Facebook message or offering loyal customers 5% off their next purchase, make sure your customers know you appreciate them. After all, without them, you wouldn’t have a business. Let them know you how much they mean to you.

Send out a customer newsletter. Customer newsletters are one of the best ways to maintain and strengthen your relationship with the customer. It both keeps them in the know and helps them feel appreciated and connected to an exclusive group.

3. Advertise Effectively

Along with social media, traditional advertising can make future customers aware of your business. Try these strategies to optimize your advertising:

Figure out where your customers spend their time-and money. This can include physical locations like grocery stores, or publications like newspaper and magazines. It can also include popular websites. For instance, if you sell custom baby clothes, your target audience might spend a lot of time reading blogs for new moms. A few ads in the right place can hugely extend your business’ reach.

Tell your friends about your business. Ask them to tell their friends and family members about you r company. Word of mouth still carries a lot of weight, even in the Internet age. You can also ask current customers to refer you, and provide incentives if they do so. For instance, for every ten friends a customer refers, he or she could receive a discount coupon for a particular product, or a free gift made especially for that purpose.

Continue to use these tips even after they help you drive more sales. Post to social media every day, no matter how many more customers you’ve garnered. Always put your customer first and advertise in the right places. And continue to enjoy the benefits these three crucial steps bring to your online business.